Why the INFJ Is a Favorite Target of the Narcissist

an INFJ and a narcissist

If you’re an INFJ who has been emotionally abused by a narcissist, remember that it’s not your fault.

You’ve probably met a narcissist at some point in your life. These toxic individuals don’t care about others’ feelings, think they deserve special treatment, believe they’re better than everyone else, and use others to get what they want. They can greatly harm your life, damaging your self-worth, ruining jobs or relationships, and causing lasting emotional stress.

Regardless of your personality type, you might find yourself targeted by a narcissist. With that said, people who identify as the INFJ personality type are overrepresented on forums like Psychopath Free, a support forum for survivors of narcissistic abuse.

Could it be that the INFJ is a favorite target of the narcissist? It’s surprising that INFJs, known for their authenticity and sincerity, often connect with those who are inauthentic and superficially charming.

However, there are three reasons why these two distinct personalities might initially be drawn to each other.

3 Reasons Why Narcissists Love to Target INFJs

1. INFJs seek the ultimate relationship.

INFJs dream big when it comes to relationships. They are idealists who highly value the few people they let into their private inner world. In their quest for the ultimate relationship, INFJs are driven by a genuine desire for a partner who respects and honors them for who they are.

But narcissists use a trick called “love bombing.” This is when a narcissist overwhelms someone with sweet talk, lots of attention, and grand promises, all to control them later.

To an INFJ, this love bombing can at first feel like the perfect relationship they’ve been hoping for. They get all the love and attention they might have been missing.

INFJs love meaningful conversations and might be initially swept away by a narcissist’s compliments. Just like anyone else, they can be fooled by the narcissist pretending to be vulnerable and admiring.

However, once an INFJ figures out these sneaky tactics, they get good at telling the difference between someone who is truly interested and someone who’s just pretending. This helps them avoid such harmful relationships in the future.

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2. INFJs often feel like they need to fix others.

INFJs are usually highly sensitive people who have a big heart. Their compassion is a great strength. But sometimes, they try too hard to help, thinking they can change someone who’s toxic, especially if that person doesn’t want to change themselves.

(Speaking of highly sensitive people, here are 27 “strange” things highly sensitive people do.)

If you’re an INFJ who has been emotionally abused by a narcissistic parent or partner, remember it’s not your fault. Your caring nature might have been taken advantage of, but your ability to empathize is still one of your best qualities. It just means you need to be careful about who you share your empathy with, making sure it’s not used against you.

Remember, if something feels off in a relationship, trust your intuition. INFJs are often intuitive about others’ motivations and feelings; don’t ignore these insights.

Know that there are genuine people out there who will appreciate your empathy without exploiting it. You don’t have to compromise your own values and boundaries to satisfy the unreasonable demands of narcissists.

3. INFJs might try too hard to keep everything calm in their relationships.

INFJs might find themselves tiptoeing around a narcissist. This is common in anyone who has survived abuse, whether emotional or physical, due to trauma. INFJs, in particular, might try to justify or downplay their abuser’s actions to avoid arguments.

Narcissists might trick an INFJ into thinking they’re overreacting or imagining things, when actually their instincts are signaling unhealthy or dangerous behavior. This is called gaslighting, a tactic where someone tries to make you doubt your own feelings and reality. It’s a way of gaining power over you by making you question your own thoughts and experiences.

Furthermore, an abusive partner, family member, or friend might accuse the INFJ of being “too sensitive.” While INFJs are sensitive, they also know how to think critically and understand when their personal boundaries are being crossed.

If an INFJ does speak up, they might feel like they should apologize for their words. However, saying sorry to someone who keeps hurting you doesn’t help. It can silence that inner voice that knows the relationship isn’t right.

Gradually, you realize it’s not you who’s too sensitive; it’s them. Narcissists often have fragile egos and can react badly when they don’t get their way.

How INFJs Can Protect Themselves From Narcissists

How can you protect yourself from getting into a relationship with a narcissist?

By staying true to yourself and your expectations for a good, healthy relationship. Don’t assume that everyone who seems perfect at first really is. As sensitive and empathetic people, our big challenge is to trust our own instincts more than the idea of a perfect partner, to find something truly good.

In love, a real connection often grows slowly. Just feeling strong immediate chemistry doesn’t always signal an authentic, lasting relationship.

Before putting your heart all in, take your time. Watch how the other person acts in different situations and with different people. For instance, are they nice to the waiter? How do they speak to their mom? What about your friends? Keep an eye out for warning signs right from the start.

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How INFJs Can Free Themselves From Narcissists

If you’re dealing with a narcissist, it might feel impossible to break away from them. But here’s some good news: INFJs have a fiery inner spirit that can help them get out of toxic situations.

INFJs hate injustice and might even completely cut off someone who’s toxic. This is called the INFJ door slam, and in the case of a narcissist, the door slam is completely justified. (Learn the truth behind the INFJ door slam here.)

The INFJ’s determination can be empowering when it’s time to end things with a narcissist, especially if they’re ready to face conflict directly. This is how INFJs can build the healthy life they deserve.

For INFJs, the issue isn’t their sensitivity. In fact, their sensitivity helps them intuitively sense when someone is toxic or even dangerous, like a narcissist.

Your sensitivity is a radar for toxicity. While it’s good to step back and think about your reactions, remember that your INFJ intuition is strong. You might notice toxic signs faster than many others.

What does this all mean? As an INFJ, you can trust your gut feeling. It can guide you away from unhealthy situations. You don’t always have to be the one fixing things to make a difference. Your sensitivity isn’t paranoia; it’s a powerful tool. And even though you’re empathetic, you can still care about others while keeping your distance.

You don’t have to put up with toxic behavior, mistreatment, or abuse just to avoid conflict. The best thing you can do for others, yourself, and the world is to insist that people take responsibility for their own healing. 

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